69-Year Volunteer for Richlandtown Fire Company Is Laid to Rest

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Image via WFMZ.
Richlandtown Fire Company staple John Kandel

In 1969, a local 20-year-old walked into the Richlandtown Fire Company to volunteer. John Kandel remained a vital presence there for the next seven decades of his life, reported Jamie Stover for WFMZ-69 News. 

“It’s tough,” said Floyd Bless, fighting back tears as he commented on the loss. “It hurts. He was special — You better believe that.” The two met in 1969. 

Kandel, born in Quakertown, attended high school there, graduating in 1949. He served in Korea, enjoyed a 59-year marriage and worked full time as a Richlandtown barber and tax collector. He had three sons, seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. 

Over the years, Kandel served many roles at the station: lieutenant, captain, assistant chief and eventually chief. He was also secretary of the relief association. He transitioned into a role with fire police in the early 2000s.  

Just a week prior to his passing, he was out on a call with the team. 

“Sometimes he’d even come out at 2:30 in the morning. You’d be like, ‘Johnny, are you kidding?’ He’d be like ‘Yeah, my pager went off,’” said Darlene Hinkle, a 40-year volunteer herself. 

The May 8 funeral began with a departmental procession, fire vehicles draped in black. 

More on Kandel’s passing is at WFMZ-69 News

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